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Juice-Can for Portable Power! 



Make] Projects 



Juice-Can for Portable Power! 

Written By: Daniel Isdell 



TOOLS: 


PARTS: 


Utility knife (1) 


5-gallon square kitty litter bucket (1) 




12- volt lawn tractor battery # U1 (1) 




400- watt inverter (1) 




Liahter socket adapter with alligator clips 




tu 




Lighter Plua adapter (1) 



SUMMARY 

Have you ever wanted to plug in one of your electronic gizmos in a canyon? Ever wanted to 
plug in a practice amplifier for your Stratocaster in a park? Sure, portable generators are 
great, but they are also heavy, loud, and smelly. This simple solution to the portable power 
problem is easy to assemble and guaranteed to impress your friends when you show up with 
your accordion and an amplifier and your very own power supply. 



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Juice-Can for Portable Power! 



Step 1 — Juice-Can for Portable Power! 




• Let's start with a nice clean square 5-gallon bucket. I used a kitty litter bucket. If you don't 
have a cat, then I recommend that you visit a local shelter and adopt a nice kitty. Then you 
will have a good excuse to buy kitty litter in square 5-gallon buckets. 

• I used my utility knife to cut a square hole in the center of the bucket lid. I made the hole 
about one and a quarter inches square (1-1/4"). The hole needs to be large enough for the 
ends of your extension cord. I also made a hole in each corner to allow for ventilation. 

Step 2 




i Place a small lawn/garden tractor battery into the bucket and connect a 12-volt cigarette 
lighter socket to the battery. These small batteries are commonly available at most auto 
supply stores for about $25. The lighter socket is optional, but it allows me to recharge my 
Juice-Can from a "lighter-to-lighter" jumper cable and it also alows me to plug in other 12 
volt gadgets. 



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Juice-Can for Portable Power! 



Step 3 




• If you have chosen to leave out the optional 12-volt lighter socket then you can skip this 
step. The rest of us need to cut the supply leads for the inverter to a more manageable 
length. 

• I cut mine to one foot long. You can cut this wire with the utility knife against a block of 
scrap wood or you can get fancy and use a pair of wire cutters. Use the utility knife to 
carefully cut the insulation back about three-quarters of an inch. Then attach the lighter 
adapter plug. Of course you can use any 12-volt lighter plug, but most of them are not 
designed for large wires like these. The plug that I used is from Radio Shack (P.N. 270- 
036) and in adition to being well constructed, it has finger tighten-able terminals that can 
take these large wires. 



Step 4 




• Connect the wires to the inverter (be sure to pay attention to polarity!). Plug the inverter's 
lighter plug into the battery's socket and hit the power button! You now have portable 
power! Place the inverter on top of the battery. Roll up your extension cord and slide it in 
beside the battery. Plug the extension cord into the inverter and pull the female end 
through hole in the top of the bucket. Close up the bucket and stand back and admire your 
own personal portable power station! 
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Juice-Can for Portable Power! 



Step 5 




• OK, so what are you waiting for? 
Go impress your friends with your 
near-super-human ability to use 
appliances in remote locations. 
Take your best girl to watch a 
sunset, then show her favorite 
movie on a cliff wall with your LCD 
projector and your amazing Juice- 
Can. (Try it first to be sure the 
battery will last. You won't be such 
a hero if you can't play the 
romantic ending.) 

• Don't expext a super long time from 
this little guy, it is a minimal 
version. Things that use a lot of 
watage will drain this quick, but I 
can use my laptop all day or my 
practice amplifier for a couple 
hours. I will work on a heavy duty 
version, but for more power you 
can just add a bigger battery and a 
larger inverter. 



st generated on 201 2-1 1 -01 04:1 0:37 AM. 



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